After ten years in the making, Cassper Nyovest’s much anticipated debut studio album Tsholofelo is here. Nyovest first released the album for sale on iTunes for 67 minutes on Mandela Day. It shot straight to the number one spot, knocking his rival AKA off the iTunes throne, within an hour of its release.
The physical copy was then released on the 31st of July. The last time I spoke to Cassper, he had his sights set on selling a hundred thousand copies… Now we wait to see the numbers. Prior to the official release of the album, Nyovest dropped 3 singles. The first of which was Gusheshe, a Ganja Beatz production featuring OkMalumekoolkat. That release was followed by Doc Shebeleza, a track that also received massive airplay and the third was the controversial Phumakim. This song received a ton of buzz from the now infamous shots he took at Kiernan “AKA” Forbes when he said:
“I told my story and made a fortune, AKA’s favourite rapper, I guess I made it on the Forbes list”. Forbes… See what he did there?
Back to Tsholofelo… the album kicks off with a great heartfelt opener titled ‘I Hope You Bought It,’ a track that the rapper clearly poured his heart into. The song begins with a soft piano with a light reverb, accompanied by a clean flute quintet and combined with an interesting drum arrangement.
‘I Hope You Bought It’ is followed by an upbeat and very busy ‘Style se Legit’, produced by BeatJunky. With this track, I feel like the opening piano was unnecessary and the production in general felt very messy in some parts.
One thing worth mentioning (which I’m sure nobody really saw coming) was the involvement of the ‘Ytjukutja’ hit-makers Uhuru on the production of two songs on the album. Uhuru produced ‘Ghetto Olympics’ – also featuring iFani and ‘Travel the World’ featuring Bass, who just so happens to be Oskido’s son. Judging from how Uhuru has been received by the masses, I’m expecting a video for one of these songs.
Another song I’m really fond of is ‘Skeptedaba’ which epitomizes that 90’s Kwaito essence in the most modern way. It actually features a sample from disco group Indeep’s 1980’s hit called ‘Lastnight a DJ Saved My Life’.
There has been some debate – prior to the release of the album – on whether or not Cassper Nyovest can really rap…
‘Tsibidip’ is the song that shuts that debate down. With punchlines for days, Nyovest directly addresses the criticism with lines like “Le dula le ringa nkare le phone ya call center” and “hake felwe ke di line nkare ke phatla ya ga Mangope”. The first time I heard the song was on Skyroomlive and I was in stitches.
Listening to this album one can feel Nyovests’ hunger, the hunger that developed in the ten long years that it took him to officially release this album. It is an album that tells the story of his life, you can almost feel his trials and tribulations. Which takes me back to the story he told me about why he named his album “Tsholofelo” – which is his little sister’s name.
“My little sister once gave me her lunch and transport money. E ne le klipa (It was a R100). At the time, I had just quit everything and I didn’t have the money to travel and come to Joburg to hustle. Ever since that day (the beginning of the journey) it has always been about making sure that her sacrifice was not in vain.”
Tsholofelo also has that victorious and inspirational element to complement the hunger and the struggle. This comes across through songs like “Alive” featuring Kyle, an Idols season ten contestant. “I’m just tryna (sic) do what I gotta do, first we get the crib then we get the coupe, and fede we the sh** and we inspire you, style se legit and you can do it too,” raps Nyovest.
In my humble opinion, the biggest flaw is the fact that Tsholofelo has 19 songs on it. You almost get lost in it and forget that you were listening. With that said, some songs could have been left out. But, the homie dropped out of school for this dream and I’m not trying to crush it so let’s live and let live. All in all, Tsholofelo is an album that is worth your time. Out of 5, I’d give it a 3.5 what would you give the album?
Casper Nyovest Tsholofelo Cape Town album launch video shot and edited by Thando Makinana for Live Magazine SA.
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